Joint visual attention is defined as looking where someone else is looking. The purpose of this study was to examine the conditions for establishing joint visual attention in autistic children who have no functional speech. An experimenter, sitting facing the child, looked at one of six pictures near the child. Analysis showed that joint visual attention to stimuli behind the child and therefore outside of the visual field occurred at a higher rate when the visual angle between the stimuli was about 60°. Spontaneous pointing at the target object increased with training which included feedback and physical guidance. These results are discussed in terms of the effects of environmental variables and perceptual mechanisms on the emergence of joint visual attention in autistic children. The possibility of using an adult's social cues and expanding the child's visual field as a remedial procedure is also addressed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Sensory Systems